Princes Bay Light

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Light house, Prince's Bay, Staten Island.jpg
Princes Bay Light is located in New York
Princes Bay Light
Location Staten Island, New York
Coordinates 40°30′27.7″N 74°12′48.3″W / 40.507694°N 74.213417°W / 40.507694; -74.213417Coordinates: 40°30′27.7″N 74°12′48.3″W / 40.507694°N 74.213417°W / 40.507694; -74.213417
Year first constructed 1864
Deactivated 1922

The Prince's Bay Light is a lighthouse on the highest point of the southern shoreline of Staten Island, New York in the Pleasant Plains neighborhood. It is situated on a 85 feet (26 m) bluff overlooking Raritan Bay with an attached brownstone cottage which served as the lightkeepers house. The bluffs the lighthouse is situated on are part of the terminal moraine, the southern terminus of the Wisconsin Glacier which receded 10,000 years ago. They are the tallest ocean-facing bluffs in New York State.[1]

The current lighthouse was constructed in 1864 for the sum of $30,000 which was approved by Congress. The attached light keepers cottage was completed in 1868.

The Princes Bay Lighthouse was deactivated in August 1922, after the installation of acetyline lights in Raritan Bay made the former lighthouse obsolete. The Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mt. Loretto, a Catholic orphanage founded by Father John Christopher Drumgoole purchased the lighthouse, cottage and an additional outbuilding in 1926.

In 1953, a rear range light was put up on Mt. Loretto, southeast of the lighthouse. The U.S. government paid $32 per year to lease the small parcel of land from the mission.[2]

The lighthouse, the bluffs and 145 acres (59 ha) of surrounding upland and 49 underwater acres (20 ha) were purchased in 1999 from the Archdiocese of New York by New York State and the Trust for Public Land. The area, now known as the Mount Loretto Unique Area, is a New York State park maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The lighthouse cottage currently serves as the residence for park rangers.


  1. ^ / Geology of Staten Island, College of Staten Island
  2. ^ Northeast Lights: Lighthouses & Lightships, Rhode Island to Cape May, New Jersey by Robert G. BachandPublisher: Sea Sports Pubns (September 1993) Language: English ISBN 0-9616399-4-6